Skip to main content

Custodial/Non-custodial in 50/50 parenting situations

Whitinsville, MA |

My ex and I have 50/50 shared custody however she is the custodial parent and I am the non custodial parent. Why is this? Is it possible to have it written into a custody order that there is no custodial parent. Also the custody order says for the purpose of school registration only the child shall reside with the wife, how likely would it be that this could be changed, daughter is not in school yet. Ex-wife lives with her parents and has said multiple times it is temporary and she will move and it is not the town we lived in while married. I have been in one town in my own place 2 years, I would prefer my daughter not have to change schools when Ex eventually moves, it would not be the same town she is currently in. Would it atleast be possible for that line to be taken out?

Attorney Answers 3


Changing the designated custodial parent or deleting the phrase would be difficult in that you make no argument for it other than you dislike the language. However, you may have better luck addressing the preferred school district, if you can show that the current situation differs from the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the current court order. Has you ex moved? Has her school district deteriorated? Has your school district improved? As for he fact that your daughter will have to move when your ex moves, well that may have some consideration when her ennoblement is imminent and your ex’s move is more than simply an anticipation.

You should consider your argument more carefully and make sure you can convince a judge that a modification in the existing judgment/agreement is required by a change in circumstance and that it is needed to serve the best interest of the child.

Conferring with an attorney would help you focus on the issues that can be addressed and keep you (and the courts) from being distracted by those that can’t.

This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.

Mark as helpful

5 lawyers agree

1 comment

Philip W. Mason

Philip W. Mason


enrollment not ennoblement - sorry


Great answer by Atty. Mason. This language may have been used to establish residency for school registration purposes only, so that Town A (where she lives) says child is not a resident of our town, and Town B (your town) says the same thing, and then you are caught in a bureaucratic battle because both districts would like to avoid the cost of educating one more child. Yes, you can have a custody order read "shared physical custody", but I agree with Atty. Mason that there is no compelling reason to change that now. Your issue will be, as he points out, is what will be the best school district for the child when that time comes. I would only warn you that comparing school districts is tough - I am not sure MCAS results can or should be the sole measure - but if there are great disparities in performance, facilities, resources, extracurriculars, special needs assistance if needed, safety and the like, the better a switch is likely to be granted.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree


You can have a shared parenting arrangement without actually naming someone the custodial or noncustodial parent. It looks like though the wife has custody over the kids. You need to modify the custody order so it makes sense to you.

Mark as helpful

Family law topics

Recommended articles about Family law

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics